Rajartnam School of International Studeis (RSIS) - Fighting Small Wars in the New Century, Workshop Report - 2010
Are conflicts with transnational violent non-state actors a historical aberration or long-term strategic trend? Are the “big” inter-state industrial wars of the twentieth century relics of the past—and amorphous intra-state “small” wars in failed or fragile states the normative face of the twentyfirst century battle space? This two day work shop addresses the complexity of fighting contemporary small wars and provide a forum of discourse for middle management and Senior SAF officers.
Duke University - Alexander Downes - Catastrophic Success: Foreign-Imposed Regime Change and Civil War - 2010
Foreign-imposed regime change (FIRC) has been argued to have a pacifying effect on interstate relations: when a victorious power changes the composition of its defeated rival’s government, a recurrence of armed conflict between them becomes very rare. Yet the domestic effects within states that experience FIRC may be less benign. This paper investigates the extent to which FIRC might be a form of “catastrophic success,” dampening international conflict but exacerbating internal conflict.
3D Security - Civil Society Perspectives on US Policy in Afghanistan - 2009
This policy brief discusses Afghan civil society leaders' desire for a shift in the U.S. approach to their country. Afghanistan needs a “3D” strategy with a better balance and better divisions of labor between military defense, diplomacy, and development. Expensive, short-term solutions may be able to quell violence in the short term. But without more promising policy options such as a diplomatic and development surge, a troop surge won’t build a foundation for the future.
Strategic Studies Institute_Evaluation of Counterinsurgency as Strategy for Fighting Long War - 2011
Strategic Studies Institute, Baucum Fulk, An Evaluation of Counterinsurgency as a Strategy for Fighting the Long War , March 2011.
The single greatest national security question currently facing the U.S. National Command Authority is how best to counter violent extremism. The National Command Authority has four broad strategies through which it may employ military forces to counter violent extremism: counterinsurgency, counterterrorism, support to insurgency, and antiterrorism. The Long War is anticipated to continue for decades, perhaps generations. Thus, it is imperative to select the best strategy or strategies for employing military forces. Based on historical lessons in combating terrorism, the best strategy is efficient and sustainable and avoids overreacting, acting incompetently, or appearing to be either over reactive or incompetent.
Counterinsurgency is neither efficient nor sustainable from a military, economic, or political perspective. It is a high risk strategy because it is a large, highly visible undertaking through which the United States may easily overreact, act incompetently, or be perceived as overreacting or being incompetent. Counterterrorism, support to insurgency, and antiterrorism are each both efficient and sustainable from a military and economic perspective. These three strategies each have inherent political concerns, hazards, or constraints. However it is considerably less likely that the United States will overreact, behave incompetently, or be perceived as overreacting or being incompetent through engaging in one or more of these three strategies than by engaging in counterinsurgency. Support to insurgencies is economically and militarily efficient and sustainable, but it carries substantial political risks. Thus, an overall strategy combining counterterrorism and antiterrorism is the best means of employing military forces to counter violent extremism.
Newman Edward, The 'New Wars' Debate: A Historical Perspective is needed, Security Dialogue 35, pp 173-189, 2004.
This article summarizes the different arguments of the ‘new wars’ thesis and argues that the distinction between ‘contemporary’ forms of conflict and wars of earlier times is exaggerated and in some instances does not stand up to scrutiny, especially when drawing upon historical material. In particular, the article questions the extent to which contemporary forms of organized violence reflect new patterns in terms of actors, objectives, spatial context, human impact, and the political economy and social structure of conflict. Moreover, the article argues that the tendency in the new wars scholarship to identify common patterns in ‘contemporary’ civil conflicts ignores important differences among them. In conclusion, the article considers the importance of recent scholarship on conflict for the security discourse and state sovereignty.
World Politics, Stathis Kalyvas, 'New' and 'Old' Civil Wars: A Valid Distinction? Volume 54, Number1, 2001.
Since the issue of ethnic competition has been effectively tackled by recent research,4 this article instead challenges the distinction between “new” and “old” civil wars by arguing that the tendency to see fundamental differences between them is based on an uncritical adoption of categories and labels grounded in a double mischaracterization.
International Peace Institute (IPI), Cockayne, James, Christoph Mikulashcek, Chris Perry, The United Nations Security Council and Civil War: First Insights from a New Dataset, September 2010.
This report is the first publication produced by IPI’s research project on Understanding Compliance with UN Security Council Resolutions. It provides fresh insights from the new IPI Security Council Compliance Database. The report examines trends in how the Security Council has engaged with civil wars since 1989, variations in where and when it chose to engage, and the gradual evolution of the Council’s civil-war response strategies. Future analysis by this project will seek to provide answers to two questions: To what extent do civil-war parties comply with demands issued by the Security Council? And what factor or combination of factors best explains the variance in the level of compliance— e.g., conflict settings, conflict management strategies, or political dynamics within the Security Council?
HPG (Humanitarian Policy Group), LeBillon Philippe, The Political Economy of War - An Annotated Bibliography, Report 1, March 2000.
This annotated bibliography is intended to be a guide to the expanding literature on the political economy of war and is directed particularly at humanitarian agencies. It is in two parts, the first is a selection of what we consider to be the most useful and relevant recent works on the political economy of war, for which we have included summaries of each work. The second is a more complete list of relevant literature.
To facilitate access, two indexes are provided: a subject index and a geographical index.
RedR UK: The global war on terror and its implications of security management, 2003.
RedR Seminar Report summarizing the proceedings of the 2003 event. The purpose of the seminar was to address the "challenging security issues in complex operating environemtns such as Afghanistan & Iraq...The seminar provided an opportunity to discuss the main challengs and constraints their organizations and staff are facing and to discuss the appropriateness of current security management theory and practice in managing risk within these contexts."
Simon Fraser University-Human Security Report Project, War and Peace in the 21st Century, November 2005.
The first Human Security Report documents a dramatic, but largely unknown, decline in the number of wars, genocides and human rights abuse over the past decade. Published by Oxford University Press, the Report argues that the single most compelling explanation for these changes is found in the unprecedented upsurge of international activism, spearheaded by the UN, which took place in the wake of the Cold War.
Simon Fraser University-Human Security Report Project, The Human Security Report 2009 /2010- The Shrinking Costs of War, 2010.
Challenging commonsense assumptions, this Human Security Report reveals that nationwide death rates actually fall during the course of most of today’s armed conflicts. The new study, The Shrinking Costs of War, will appear in the forthcoming Human Security Report 2009 to be published by Oxford University Press. The Shrinking Costs of War argues that wartime mortality, from disease and malnutrition, as well as war-inflicted injuries, has been driven downwards by: a) significant changes in the nature of warfare––evident in the 70 percent decline in the number of high-intensity conflicts since the end of the Cold War; b) more than 30 years of highly effective health interventions in poor countries in peacetime––which have cut death tolls from disease during wartime; c) a dramatic increase in the level and effectiveness of humanitarian assistance to people in war zones. These findings stand in sharp contrast to contested claims of enormous death tolls in Iraq, Darfur, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). The Shrinking Costs of War also provides the most comprehensive analysis to date of the claim that 5.4 million people have died because of the war in the DRC. The study argues that the true death toll is far smaller.
International Committee of the Red Cross, The Roots Of Behaviour In War - Understanding and Preventing IHL Violations, October 2004.
Intended to challenge many pre-conceived ideas about the factors that influence the behaviour of combatants, the study examines the various strategies that the ICRC pursues, especially in the area of communication, to ensure that humanitarian law is better known, accepted and respected. Importantly, in this time of intense public debate about the behaviour of the military in contexts such as Iraq and Afghanistan, this study helps to define the future direction of preventive activities.
RAND-National Defense Research Institute, Gompert D, Gordon J IV, et al; War by Other Means-Building Complete and Balanced Capabilities for Counterinsurgency, 2008.
Geneva Call & PSIO (Program for the Study of International Organizations), Women in Armed Opposition Groups speak on War, Protection & Obligations under IHL & HRL, Workshop report 8.2004
We know that the role of women as actors in armed conflict has traditionally been neglected and undervalued. Has their potential in the promotion of international humanitarian law (IHL) and international human rights law (IHR) within armed opposition groups also been overlooked? Additionally, we recognize that in a number of ways women and girls experience and respond to armed conflict differently than men and boys. Would these differences make women within armed opposition groups potentially more receptive to supporting and promoting IHL and IHR? In seeking to learn more about the experiences of women and girls within armed opposition groups and to answer questions about their potential roles in promoting IHL and IHR, a unique workshop was held in August 2004, in Geneva, Switzerland, organized by Geneva Call and the Program for the Study of International Organization(s) of the Graduate Institute of International Studies. During the four day workshop, 32 women from 18 armed opposition groups met with a small group of peace and human rights activists, humanitarian actors, and scholars. The 32 women were members of armed opposition groups currently in armed conflict.
This report covers the key protection and obligations for women and girls in armed opposition groups under IHL and IHR. It documents and analyzes the ways women experience empowerment in armed opposition groups, and the ways they are disempowered. The report then moves to cover key disarmament, demobilization, and reintegration (DDR) issues raised by the women participants. It concludes with an investigation into the potential gains and obstacles facing women and girls within armed groups and those wishing to work with them in promoting and enforcing IHL and IHR within armed opposition groups. Each section is followed by key lessons learned from discussions with women in armed opposition groups.
The phenomenon of war, the place it has in the culture of mankind and the behaviour of combatants in war are all closely examined in this study commissioned by the ICRC. Through this bibliographical overview of the historical, sociological and psychological investigations used in the study, we learn of the origins of the need for limits in war and gain an insight into the situations which give rise to violations of international humanitarian law.
ICRC, Constraints on the waging of war-An introduction to IHL.
Fully revised, this 3rd edition gathers together the principal rules of humanitarian law from its origins to its most recent developments. It focuses particularly on the rules governing weapons and the field of international criminal law. Combining theory and actual practice, this book appeals to specialists as well as to students turning to the subject for the first time.
HPCR_Warriors without Rights-Combatants, Unprivileged Belligerents, and the Struggle over Legitimacy
HPCR, Programme on Humanitarian Policy and Conflict Research, Harvard University, Watkin Kenneth, Warriors without Rights - Combatants, Unprivileged Belligerents, and the Struggle over Legitimacy, Occasional paper series, Winter 2005, Number 2.
Combatancy has throughout the history of organized warfare been an exclusionary concept. Distinguishing between combatants and civilians has long represented an important aspect of warfare and has been recognized as the indispensable means by which humanitarian principles are injected into the rules governing conduct in war. Yet the protection of participants in warfare under international humanitarian law remains characterized by a certain level of uncertainty as regards the codified provisions for combatants and civilians. Who qualifies as a combatant is a question that has plagued those seeking to establish a comprehensive normative regime governing participation in hostilities.
HPCR, Program on Humanitarian Policy and Conflict Research, Harvard University, Michael N, Schmitt, War, Technology and International Humanitarian Law, Occasional Paper Series, Summer 2005, Number 4.
GC & PSIO_Armed Non-State Actors and Landmines-Towards a holistic Approach to Armed Non-state Actors
Geneva Call and the Program for the Study fo International Organisation(s) (PSIO), Armed Non-State Actors and Landmines - Towards a holistic Approach to Armed Non-state Actors.
Globally, humanitarian and human rights actors are increasingly approaching not only the armed forces of States, but also those of non-State actors (NSAs) to try to reduce the abuses committed during armed conflict. By combining relevant literature with the findings from the analysis of NSA involvement in humanitarian mine action, the report suggests some factors and incentives that might influence the behavior of an NSA and its likelihood of committing itself to respect humanitarian norms, as well as factors that might influence the outcomes of such engagement.
This study is the third volume of a project that investigates the involvement of NSAs in the landmine problem, both in its negative (use of landmines) and positive (contribution to mine action) aspects. The report summarizes and analyzes the main findings of the project, and applies these findings to other related issues - child soldiers and small arms – as well as places the issue in the broader context of NSA engagement. It should be noted that humanitarian engagement does not affect the legal status of the NSA involved. In conclusion, the report argues for a holistic view of NSAs, hence considering both their capacity for destruction as parties to a conflict, but also their potential to contribute to the solution of human security problems. It has been demonstrated that it is possible to work with NSAs in humanitarian action, such as mine action, and that this has direct beneficial effects for the civilian population (reduction of humanitarian suffering and removal of obstacles to development). Notably, one important finding is that although many NSAs used landmines, their contribution to mine action activities was more extensive than expected. This potential could and should be used.
Alistair Hallam, “War-risk insurance cover for aid workers”, Humanitarian Exchange Magazine 7 (January 1997).
Hallam notes the high costs of for agencies of security incidents, and points to the fact that there is no common policy among relief organisations in the UK for the provision of insurance cover for overseas workers. He also notes that where agencies do have insurance policies, the cover they offer varies widely, and complications can arise even in full war risk insurance policies. Therefore “It is extremely important that relief workers understand the extent of their coverage, for otherwise they may find that they have inadvertently behaved ‘irreponsibly’ while carrying out what they considered to be essential duties”. Hallam also recommends that agencies have a clear and transparent policy concerning the health and safety of their overseas employees, and that insurance provision procedures are regularly reviewed and information to staff updated.
ICRC, A Guide To The Legal Review Of New Weapons, Means And Methods Of Warfare - Measures To Implement Article 36 Of Additional Protocol 1 Of 1977.
This Guide aims to assist States in establishing or improving procedures to determine the legality of new weapons, means and methods of warfare in accordance with Article 36 of Protocol I Additional to the 1949 Geneva Conventions. It was prepared further to an expert meeting hosted by the ICRC in January 2001 and the Agenda for Humanitarian Action adopted by the States Parties to the Geneva Conventions at the 28th International Conference of the Red Cross and Red Crescent. The Agenda for Humanitarian Action commits States to ensure the legality of all new weapons, means and methods of warfare by subjecting them to rigorous and multidisciplinary review. Government experts from ten countries provided comments on previous drafts of this Guide. ICRC, Geneva, 2007.